Unfortunately, 2021 was the deadliest year for motorists in Massachusetts since 2009. This frightening statistic reminds us that we need to remain vigilant and prepared while we are behind the wheel.
If you were just involved in a car accident and don’t know how to proceed or protect your rights, learn all the important do’s and don’ts when it comes to car accidents below.
What You Should Do after a Car Accident
After an auto accident, it is normal to feel confused and overwhelmed, especially if you are injured. Life-saving chemicals, like adrenaline, are likely clouding your judgment and ability to think clearly. For these reasons, it is important to know what you should do after an accident to ensure your safety and preserve your potential eligibility to pursue compensation. Here is an overview of what you should do after a car accident:
1. DO Call the Authorities
After you get into a car accident, the other party might convince you that you do not need to call the police. Never listen to this bad advice. You always want to call the authorities about an accident, especially when another driver is involved. Doing so protects your rights by officially documenting what happened and who was involved, and even helps prompt an investigation.
2. DO Collect and Preserve Evidence
Car accident evidence is often time sensitive. If you can collect and preserve evidence at the scene of your crash, then it is recommended you do so. Take photographs, take note of any nearby surveillance cameras, speak to witnesses and ask for their contact information, and get medical treatment as soon as possible after the crash. That means you should let the EMS crew that arrives on scene take you to the hospital to get checked for injuries. Not only does this truly ensure your safety, but it also creates a record of your injuries in case you later decide to file a civil lawsuit or insurance claim.
Did you know that 70 percent of consumers who are buying new vehicles are interested in dash cams?
With that in mind, you should ask any witnesses who saw your accident if they captured the incident on their dash cams. If so, ask them if they would be willing to turn that video over as evidence.
3. DO Notify Your Insurance Provider
Next, you will want to notify your insurance provider about what happened. Courtrooms in no-fault states like Massachusetts use a modified no-fault insurance standard, so your first source of financial recourse will be through your insurer regardless of who caused the crash. You will only need to seek compensation elsewhere if your insurance provider denies your claim or you reach your policy limit and still have losses to cover.
4. DO Consider All Your Losses
You must consider all your losses after an auto accident. Depending on your policy, insurance may only be able to compensate you for medical bills and up to 75 percent of any wages you miss while being unable to work, but that might not be the extent of your losses. You might also suffer property damage, ongoing medical bills for catastrophic injuries, emotional distress, and other damages not covered by your insurance policy.
5. DO Speak with an Attorney
If you do realize that you suffered more losses than your insurer can cover, consider speaking with an experienced car accident attorney about what happened. The lawyers on our team can help you make an informed decision on how to move forward after your accident.
Knowing what to do after a crash is only half the battle. You also need to know what NOT to do to protect your rights after a collision.
1. DON’T Admit Fault
The number one thing you should never do after an accident is admit fault. If you are deemed more than 51 percent responsible for the crash, then you may not be eligible to pursue any compensation for your losses. Instead of admitting fault at the scene of the crash, hold your peace until you talk to a lawyer about what you should do.
2. DON’T Post about the Accident on Social Media
These days, we post almost everything online. You never want to post about your car accident or injuries on social media, however, because everything you post online can (and likely will) get used against you later if you pursue a claim for compensation. Avoid this mistake by simply avoiding social media altogether until your claim is resolved.
3. DON’T Postpone Medical Treatment
As previously mentioned, you should not delay your own medical treatment after a car accident. If you have substantial injuries but fail to seek out medical care in a timely manner, you might compromise your own health and lose the right to seek out any compensation later. Why? The other party might argue that your if injuries aren’t bad enough to warrant immediate medical attention, then they aren’t worth compensating.
4. DON’T Accept a Denial from Your Insurance Provider
If you were denied an opportunity to seek out compensation from your insurance provider, don’t assume you are out of options. Instead, talk to a skilled lawyer on our team about what happened. CarAccident.Law can help you identify the reason for your denial and help you either pursue compensation through other means or amend your claim and negotiate with your insurance provider on your behalf.
5. DON’T Exaggerate Your Injuries
It might be tempting to exaggerate the extent of your car accident injuries, lost wages, or property damage to inflate the value of your claim. Despite the temptation, you should never do this. If you get caught, you might wind up forfeiting the right to any compensation whatsoever on the basis that you acted in bad faith.
6. DON’T Accept a Reduced Settlement
Finally, never accept a settlement amount that you know is less than the value of the losses you suffered in your accident. If you do, then you automatically forfeit the right to any additional compensation from that party. Instead, let our team negotiate a more appropriate settlement or take your case to court for additional compensation.
Handle Your Car Accident Claim Like a Pro
The list of do’s and don’ts should help guide you on how to handle a car accident. If you are looking to pursue compensation for your crash from insurance or through a civil lawsuit, do not hesitate to contact our team. Schedule a consultation with CarAccident.Law now by filling out our online form.